February 25, 2004

Is the PRC a Core Member?

From the analysis below and the fact that the PRC fits the profile of a Country B (accumulating debt instruments in order to gain the ability to use economic friction as a weapon) there might be some tension developing between my concerns about a country B and between my enthusiasm for Pentagon's New Map which puts the PRC in the functioning core and not the non-integrating gap.

I believe that there's a difference between core states that are what Barnett calls 'old core' and have been in the core for some time and 'new core' states which are newly arrived. Core behavior is both government policy and deeply ingrained social habit. Old core states have both while new core states have only the former. There is, justifiably, a natural fear of backsliding and it remains a strong possibility that some mainstream political currents in new core states will remain pro-gap for quite some time after the country objectively is inducted to the core.

Until those social habits have had a generation or two to become deep tradition and until all major political factions embrace core values making backsliding highly unlikely, it is prudent to continue to game scenarios where a new core state backslides, especially in cases of economic shock assaults that do not involve actual warfare. New core states have turned over a new leaf in their civic lives and international roles and they are to be applauded for it when it happens and new relationships should be forged. But that does not backsliding an impossibility and we should not forget it.

Posted by TMLutas at February 25, 2004 12:37 PM